CULT CRAVINGS WITH THE ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE
At Neon Marquee, we love The Alamo and their fine mix of new stuff and cult cinema. Here's our picks coming up over the next couple of weeks between their new Brooklyn digs and staple venues in Austin.
GALAXY OF TERROR (1981)
Tues May 23rd, 9:30pm / Alamo Brooklyn, NY
Like many movies produced under Roger Corman's iconic New World Pictures banner in the 1970s and 1980s, GALAXY OF TERROR didn't receive much more than a passing glance when it was first released in 1981. However, for those who have already acquired a taste for that distinctive brand of sci-fi schlock that ruled the grindhouse circuit upon its initial release, you will probably find plenty to enjoy here. In the distant future, the crew members of the spaceship Quest find themselves crash-landed on the desolate planet of Morganthus. From there, they find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence that begins picking them off one-by-one, using their worst fears as a weapon against them. Boasting a recognizable cast of seasoned character actors (Robert Englund, Erin Moran, and Sid Haig all appear among others) and above-average technical proficiency thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of a budding James Cameron, GALAXY OF TERROR is fitfully entertaining B-Movie goodness that leaves a mark long after viewing.
MODERN GIRLS (1986)
Wed May 24th, 9:30pm / Alamo Brooklyn, NY
“Never stand in line. Never pay for your own drinks. Never stand next to a dweeb” – so goes the guiding philosophy of MODERN GIRLS, a delight of a box office dud featuring more garish 1986 party girl fashion than you can shake a stick at. Margo (Daphne Zuniga), Cece (Cynthia Gibb), and Kelly (Virginia Madsen) are twentysomething roommates who live in a fabulously pastel-hued, pop art-filled apartment. The three friends work menial jobs by day and go clubbing by night. Over the course of a single evening out, they find themselves in increasingly madcap situations, spurred by Kelly going off to meet a DJ and leaving a comparatively square date, Clifford (Clayton Rohner, who also plays a Billy Idol-esque Rockstar, Bruno X) at the mercy of Margo and Cece. Director Jerry Kramer is known mostly for his work in music videos and it shows – each nightclub is a packed with simultaneously sleazy and glamorous gyrating bodies and scored to the likes of Depeche Mode and The Jesus and Mary Chain. MODERN GIRLS is bursting at the seams with absurdity, sass, and 80s style. Hosted by writer Abbey Bender. Admission only $10!
NEAR DARK (1987)
Tues May 16th, 10pm / Alamo Brooklyn, NY
Alamo honors the recent passing of beloved actor Bill Paxton with a 30th anniversary screening of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow's early cult fave, a nightmarish vampire western with wicked laughs and unexpected eroticism. One night in a small-town Oklahoma bar, a cavalier young farmer (Adrian Pasdar) meets the wrong bloodthirsty pixie (Jenny Wright). One neck bite and a painful sunrise later, our hillbilly hero is reluctantly transformed and kidnapped by an RV-roving family of murderous ghouls, including three castmembers of ALIENS (Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, and an exceptionally sinister Paxton). Will the fanged newbie find it within himself to kill for survival, perhaps in the name of romantic obsession? Co-written by Eric Red (THE HITCHER) and featuring a hypnotically throbbing score by Tangerine Dream (RISKY BUSINESS, THIEF), this gory love-on-the-run saga has style and sex appeal to burn. Hosted by Video Free Brooklyn co-owner/curator Aaron Hillis. Admission only $10.
TRUCK TURNER (1974)
Wed May 10th, 10:15pm / Alamo Ritz Austin, TX
If there’s a better blaxploitation movie than TRUCK TURNER we haven’t found it - and we’ve looked! Isaac Hayes turns on the charm as a legendary bounty hunter with a short temper. When he takes down a psychopathic pimp named Gator, he inadvertantly creates a power vacuum in the Los Angeles prostitution scene. Then Gator’s bottom woman Nichelle (“Lt. Uhura”) Nichols (who should have gotten the Oscar, seriously) offers Gator’s orphaned whores to any mack who can take down Truck Turner. Soon there’s an open war in the streets between the wisecracking, beer-guzzling Turner and a coalition of over the top pimps, the most dangerous being Yaphet Kotto’s intense Harvard Blue. Every line of dialogue in this movie is suitable for framing. With over 75,000 instances of the N-word, and the most creative use of profanity in movie history. To top it off, there’s an Isaac Hayes score and Scatman Crothers as an elderly, but still active, pimp. It just can’t get better than this. It can’t!
NAKED LUNCH (1991)
Wed May 10th, 7:50pm / Alamo Slaughter Lane, Austin TX
While less an adaptation, NAKED LUNCH is more a regurgitation of bizarre thoughts and hallucinations from one demented mind to another. Cronenberg himself famously said that a straight adaptation would have cost over $400 million and be banned in every country in the world, he instead devolved into the Id center of Burroughs' hallucinatory novel. Peter Weller and Judy Davis give great, difficult performances and help give the film emotional weight. This film shocked audiences for its brash and vivid depictions into the depths of drug abuse. Experience this body horror classic.
Program notes by Alamo Drafthouse